Nominee: Maureen McKeague
Assistant Professor in Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Assistant Professor in Chemistry; Canada Research Chair Tier 2 (Genomic Chemistry), McGill University
Brief Biosketch provided for the nominee:
Maureen McKeague received her PhD in Chemistry from Carleton University (2012), completed postdoctoral studies in RNA Bioengineering at Stanford University (2012-2016), then spent two years at ETH Zurich. She joined McGill in 2018 as a unique dual appointment in Chemistry (Science) and Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Medicine). She established an interdisciplinary laboratory that advances innovative RNA tools to treat and characterize blood diseases. She is a recognized aptamer expert, as evidenced by her selection as the Vice-President of the International Society on Aptamers and an Associate Editor for the Molecular Therapy Nucleic Acids and Aptamers journals. Her team identified RNA gene switches for real-time manipulation of cell fate and biosensing. She also developed biosensors for diagnosis of malaria in clinical blood samples from patients around the globe. She applied synthetic strategies to decorate aptamers with new chemistry, permitting the first high-throughput analysis of highly-functional aptamers. She is recognized with a Canada Research Chair in Genomic Chemistry, the 2021 American Chemical Society Kavli Emerging Researcher Award, and a Cole Foundation Transition Award.
Justification provided for the nominee:
I am part of the RNA Center at McGill University, and on the research steering committee for McGill’s “D2R” CFREF initiative. I have participated and help lead with many societies (ACS Toxi, Chemical Institute of Canada, International Society on Aptamers, Association for Women In Science, etc) in many roles and believe RNA Canada is a timely and important initiative.